Bowling Green hospitals utilizing monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID patients

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Two local hospitals have begun administering the monoclonal antibody treatment to non-hospitalized patients with mild or moderate confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Tristar Greenview Regional Hospital has given 80 infusions, while The Medical Center has given 500.

According to Melinda Joyce, the vice-president of Corporate Support Services for Med Center Health, it is an IV infusion that helps your body fight off COVID if taken by someone in a high-risk category.

That includes age, health conditions, weight and other factors.

“What these monoclonal antibodies are is actually a type of IV infusion that actually gives somebody who is COVID positive, it helps to give them antibodies to help fight the virus,” said Joyce.

Both TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital and the Medical Center at Bowling Green are treating patients with the newly approved medication.

Warren County Jailer Stephan Harmon, caught COVID-19 about a month ago.

Having an auto immune disease, Harmon qualified for the infusion.

He recommends the antibody infusion for anyone who is able to receive it and attributes it to his recovery.

“You know, I considered it a gift. Especially at the five to six day mark when I started having respiratory symptoms and was worried about being hospitalized with breathing treatments and things, I was able to stay home and leave hospital space for people that were much more sick than I was,” said Harmon.

“The reason that it’s important to have these monoclonal antibodies available in our community is that we now do have a good option for treating those patients that have not been hospitalized that may be at high risk that are COVID positive. Prior to this, we didn’t really have a lot of different things to offer and these monoclonal antibodies can give people some good symptom control and hopefully be able to keep them out of the hospital,” said Joyce.

To get an appointment for an infusion, you will first need to have a doctor prescribe the medication for you and mark what makes you a candidate for the antibodies.

You must meet certain criteria to be eligible for one of these infusions, and your doctor must place the order:

  • Patient does not need supplemental or chronic oxygen therapy
  • Patient must be considered high risk:
    • BMI>35
    • Chronic Kidney Disease
    • Diabetes
    • Immunosuppressive disease or receiving treatment
    • Over 65
    • Over 55 with cardiovascular disease
    • Over 55 with hypertension
    • Over 55 with COPD and/or other chronic respiratory disease
    • 12-17 years of age and one of the following:
      • BMI > 85th percentile for age and gender based on CDC growth chart
      • Sickle cell disease
      • Congenital or acquired heart disease
      • Neurodevelopmental disorders
      • Medical-related technological dependence
      • Asthma, reactive airway or other chronic respiratory disease that requires daily medication for control.